Effects of Social Networking Sites on User Experience

Horseman, R., Larkin, E., Vallejo, J., Wilkerson, M. (2015). Effects of Social Networking Sites on User Experience. (2015) In iConference 2015 Proceedings. http://hdl.handle.net/2142/73702

Research Advisor: Rosta Farzan, University of Pittsburgh, School of Information Sciences

Social Networking Sites (SNS) introduced a new medium of communication among users. Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn share several notable features between sites, while maintaining distinct user experiences. This study investigated users’ experience and ownership of accounts on multiple SNS. 40 undergraduate students, 18-24 years old, were surveyed and all 40 had Facebook accounts. Only 24 students had accounts with Google+ and 15 owned a LinkedIn account. Results showed the most significant factor affecting satisfactory user experience was the popularity of the site among users’ social circles, with the features of the site being less valued by users. The perception of a site’s purpose and how to use its features to network effectively also greatly impacted user experience. Facebook was a gold standard in that its features were present in other SNS. Further results found that although users expressed a desire for customizability, they rarely took advantage of such opportunities.

Presented at iConference 2015